One of this weeks picks was Xtranormal.com – an online interactive movie maker where the only skill you need is the ability to type in a script.
Someone sent me a great little movie during the week that had been created using this new website. It sparked my curiosity, so I went and had a look. I’m glad I did!
What a great concept. Using the web interface, simply choose your scene, choose your virtual actors, set the ambience and then type in the script. When you’re happy, preview your video. Make any amends and when everything’s perfect, publish your masterpiece.
You can sign up for a free account, which offers you all the main features but limits them in well thought out ways. There’s plenty to be using and having fun with, whilst the upgrading to a Premium account adds more choices, more scenes, longer movies, takes off advertising and gives priority rendering of your movies on the xtranormal servers. Premium accounts are either $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year.
The system itself is cleverly put together and is incredibly easy to use. You can add actions, expressions and sounds into your movies along with fine-grained control of camera angles – all using a simply drag and drop environment. Personally, I’ve found the “Magicam” automated cameras are very good at capturing your movie with little fuss. Rendering of preview movies takes a few minutes and the website lets you know what it’s up to along the way. Previews are only low quality renders of the scene, so don’t think that the quality is low – the final rendering makes everything a lot more detailed.
Once you’re happy with your movie, you are given the option to give your movie a title, add tags and a description as well as add it to a series of movies if you so choose.
You have several publishing options, including all the codes you need to embed it in your blog, link to it in an email etc and finally, if you have a YouTube account, you can enter your credentials and upload it there for the world to see.
Of course, I couldn’t leave my review without offing my own little masterpiece into the proceedings. So here it is. Make your own movies at www.xtranormal.com.